Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Playhouse To Feature Historic Grange Hall Drop in First Production

After sorting through years of props and memories, Hackmatack Playhouse stumbled upon a goldmine: a rare early 20th century painted drop that originally hung in the North Berwick Grange Hall, once one of the most socially active places in town for local farmers and their families. The Guptill family, who own The Playhouse, was active in the Grange as local farmers in the area.

"It's not only a piece of local history, but a piece of Americana," said Royal Cloyd, 86, president of the North Berwick Historical Society. "I've never seen the likes of it."

Salvaged from one of two North Berwick Grange Halls, which burnt down many years ago, the drop features a beautiful painted landscape with some colors still as bright as they were in the early 1900s.

"It's absolutely wonderful and amazing that it's in as good of condition as it is," Cloyd said. "Whoever painted it knew what he was doing and wanted to make it last."

Lining the bottom are advertisements for about 25 businesses around the North Berwick area, many of which are no longer around. Some, however, still exist today, including H.E. Hayes Funeral Home, now Johnson Funeral Home. Cloyd said there are descendants of about a third of the businesses still living in North Berwick today.

"There was no television, no iPods, no radio," Cloyd said. "If you had a business and you wanted to advertise, you had to go where the people were. In those days, the Grange Hall was the place to go."

Members of the Grange would see the drop and its advertisements before events held at the hall, which ranged from dances and theater, to various band performances from local musicians.

At its height, around 1900 to 1920, the Grange had millions of members throughout the country. Now, just shadows of what they were, Grange Halls reflect the national, social and political movements of America when it was primarily an agricultural country.

The historic drop will be featured at The Playhouse this year in "Ten Nights In A Barroom," which opens June 29 and welcomes back Hackmatack legend, Blaine Pickett as Harvey Greene. The prohibitionist drama was performed during the theater's premier season in 1971 and returns for its 40th anniversary celebration.

To admire a piece of American history and order tickets for the show, which runs June 29 through July 2, visit hackmatack.org or call the box office at 207-698-1807.

TodayTix


More Hot Stories For You


SPACE ODDITY: THE ULTIMATE DAVID BOWIE EXPERIENCE is Coming to Husson University's Gracie TheatreSPACE ODDITY: THE ULTIMATE DAVID BOWIE EXPERIENCE is Coming to Husson University's Gracie Theatre
September 30, 2022

'Space Oddity: The Ultimate David Bowie Experience,' blasts off in Bangor for a 'one-night only' concert event on Saturday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage of Husson University's Gracie Theatre. The concert and the 2022-2023 season are sponsored in part by Bangor Savings Bank.

City Theater Opens Season With SYLVIA Next MonthCity Theater Opens Season With SYLVIA Next Month
September 23, 2022

City Theater opens their next season on October 7th with A.R. Gurney's Smart, playful, sophisticated, irreverent, and occasionally gritty comedy, Sylvia. The Wall Street Journal called Sylvia 'clever and cute in all the right ways'. Sylvia debuted on Broadway in 1995 and earned several Drama Desk Award nominations.

Royal Family Productions Presents COVID STILL SUX REDUX: The Musical Part 2.5Royal Family Productions Presents COVID STILL SUX REDUX: The Musical Part 2.5
September 20, 2022

NYC's Royal Family Productions, a theatre company known for its innovative productions and development of new original work, continues to bring quality family theatre to Maine.

Virginia Madsen Joins Six-City East Coast Tour Of Suicide Awareness Play RIGHT BEFORE I GOVirginia Madsen Joins Six-City East Coast Tour Of Suicide Awareness Play RIGHT BEFORE I GO
September 14, 2022

Virginia Madsen, Academy Award nominee from the hit movie 'Sideways', has been added to the east coast tour of Stan Zimmerman's suicide awareness play, 'Right Before I Go', highlighting the raw struggles of people in all walks of life that have died by suicide.

Colby College Establishes Lyons Arts Lab - A Multidisciplinary IncubatorColby College Establishes Lyons Arts Lab - A Multidisciplinary Incubator
September 14, 2022

Colby College announced that it is establishing the Lyons Arts Lab. With a focus on developing and realizing original student-driven projects, the dynamic new lab is the result of a $5-million endowed gift from Colby Trustee John Lyons '85, P'22 and Susannah Gray P'22, who currently serves on the Board of Governors at the Colby College Museum of Art.